Everyone hates to waste time and money on new, unfamiliar products, right? Well, I'm here to help. Although I know nothing about technology, cars, boats, or basically anything that costs over twenty dollars, I do know something about the arts. Frankly, I know more than any healthy person should.
Thus, let me introduce a new (and possibly recurring) segment here at Better Chatter where I recommended a book, a cd, a tv show, and a movie. These recommendations all get my patented seal of approval and I will, of course, give my customary one dollar refund to anyone that can honestly say they are disappointed in a particular selection and can make a compelling argument for why I am a fool/idiot to recommend it.
So, without further ado, here we go:
A book: Cross-X by Joe Miller. Along with having one of the greatest book jackets I've ever seen, Cross-X tells the incredible story of a poor, predominantly black high school in Kansas City that develops a nationally competitive debate team. The book brings up some pretty damning sociological issues (in particular the imbalanced nature of the American high school system, especially in regard to race) while at the same time sucking you in to the lives of these super-smart kids tucked away within one of the worst school districts in the country.
A cd: Strawberry Jam by Animal Collective.
Animal Collective is, with a doubt, an extremely polarizing band. Although some of their music in the past hasn't been especially palatable for a lot of people, I think this album is finally accessible enough to finally win a lot of people over. The songs For Reverend Green and Fireworks constitute the best 1-2 punch on any album I've heard this year. This is still just pop music, even if it doesn't quite sound like anything you've heard before.
A TV show:
Pushing Daisies. Man, this show is sounds weird and clever and has such uniquely attractive lead characters that it's almost guaranteed to last about three weeks. It is a comedy about dead people and unattainable romance that really doesn't feel like anything else on tv, not usually a good sign, ratings-wise. Still, rather than adopt this defeatist attitude, I'll just tell you to either catch it on TV Wednesdays at 8 while it still lasts or follow the link above and watch it on the website.
The Darjeeling Limited. While I don't think that it was especially great, no movie is a disappointment when it has all the Wes Anderson hallmarks: great music, vibrant colors, quirky dialogue, and excellent actors. Plus, considering that I don't really go in for things that might be considered "twee" that much anymore, a Wes Anderson film can be a refreshing change of pace.